The Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of newspaper reports on Punjab policemen beating up a woman in public and on police assaulting teachers in Patna, and sought Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati’s help in proceeding with the case.

In a brief order, a Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and Ranjana Desai said almost all leading newspapers published reports about the Punjab police beating up a woman and her father.

Another report published on March 6 showed that contractual teachers including women, who were demanding regular wages, were being brutally beaten up by the police in Patna.

Shocked at inaction

The Bench said both incidents shocked the conscience of the nation but the governments of Punjab and Bihar had not taken steps for protecting the people from the wholly unwarranted action taken by the police at Tarn Taran and Patna. These incidents raised important constitutional issues relating to Article 21 and dignity of an individual.

“We, therefore, feel that it is proper for this court to take cognisance of the gross violation of human rights as well as the constitutional rights of the people.”